Gerald Croteau III
American Stonecraft’s™ artwork makes beautiful irony of New England’s infamous rocky soil. The freeze-thaw cycle pushes fieldstone perpetually upward into the topsoil. What was once relegated to a stone wall bordering a field can now be gathered and made into table ware. Each Slab starts as a hand-gathered stone from a farmer’s field that are sliced, polished and sealed to craft the very first farm-to-table serving plate. Connect the story of the sourcing farms by discovering each stone’s origins on the labeled underside of each Slab. Feel good knowing your purchase celebrates and supports independent farmers and helps preserve open space.
The story of American Stonecraft™ started when artist and founder Gerald Croteau III (left) fell in love with the fieldstone walls dotting his childhood landscape of Massachusetts. Gerald loved driving or walking through the countryside alongside a beautiful wall that stood the test of time, especially the ones built by his grandfather Gerald Sr., a stonemason. What stood out is the contrast between modern stonewalls, built as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, and historic ones, built when fieldstones were a troublesome burden to New England farming.
Millions of years ago, retreating glaciers littered sections of the North American continent with rocky debris. The intense freeze-thaw cycle of New England perpetually pushes these stones upward being less dense than the soil surrounding them. Farmers lucky enough to toil these patches of earth had to remove the stones not once upon clearing, but season after season, till the present day. Estimates are that over 250,000 miles of hand-stacked stone walls frame the New England aesthetic. They stand as testament to man’s struggle with nature and are a celebration of the easy living of modern life.
The necessity of neatly hand-stacked walls has passed and is too expensive for most farmers today. Fieldstone is now relegated to clusters and piles dumped by modern tractors. The inspiration for American Stonecraft™ to share this as a value added crop came when Gerald was working in Dubai as a property broker and traveled to the US for a tradeshow and a family wedding. On the trip, he discovered stone cutting at a family workshop and it opened his eyes to the possibilities to share his love with a bigger audience. American Stonecraft™ is now a fast growing studio in Lowell, MA that sells through farm stands and dealers throughout the United States and Internationally.